Mother Teresa – “One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”
The one who loves the least, controls the relationship.” Dr Robert Anthony
As men who state we have a loving relationship with God there are times in our lives that we have fumbled, dropped the ball and lived to regret it. The times when we have done this often are when our own personal interests have been placed in a position above that of parents, our wives and our children. We have missed a special event, a time when we should have been in one place and we were in another! For those times and places once they have passed we cannot get them back. – our very own selfishness has shrouded and sometimes hurt those whom we love the most.
We live in a very selfish word! Sadly selfishness has crept into church. Proverbs 1:1p So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners… 2 Tim 3:2…For men will be lovers of themselves..unthankful…To our text – Luke 14:16-33 – A certain man gave a great supper….invited many…But they all with one accord began to make excuses.Concise Oxford Dictionary – Excuse – attempt to lessen the blame/obtain exemption/release from duty/a poor or inadequate example.
First excuse – I have bought a piece of ground and I must go and see it. The first man’s excuse was sort of a commercial excuse: “I bought a house and I need to go take a look at it.” Pray tell, what kind of a fool buys a house without looking at it? He was busy in commerce.
Second excuse – I have bought five yoke of oxen and I am going to test them. The second man is busy in his labors. It takes precedence over the kingdom. “I bought five yoke and I need to prove them.” Again, what man would buy five yoke of oxen without first testing them? Which of you would buy a car without driving it around the block? The first two excuses have to do with material things – and are each pretty lame. After all, what kind of fool first buys a piece of land, and then goes to check it? If you have already bought ten oxen, what is the use of testing them after you have already bought them?
Third excuse – I have married me a wife and I cannot come. Then the third said that he had just married a wife and couldn’t come. Why didn’t he bring his wife? The third excuse has to do with a man who puts his family before the Lord. The best thing we can show to our family is that they are not first in our lives, but that the Lord is.
The story is about the kingdom of God and God Himself inviting us to join Him! Often as I have read the gospels over and over and especially as we draw near to Easter, I am always disheartened by the way the disciples bailed out on Jesus at the only moment in His 33 years that He asked for them to help Him, to pray for Him. So that when He was in the Garden praying about going to the cross, His disciples, His most loyal were sleeping when He had asked them to be praying! The question is, “Would I have been different?” From that evening, the evening of His arrest, He was alone…His disciples fled and one even denied knowing Him. Now I know the background and the theology that speaks through time as Jesus alone taking the sins of the world BUT…what of His request fro prayer…and when He was being crucified could not the disciples have been there at the foot of the cross with the courageous women? The disciples got a second chance!
Ever heard the statement – “They died before their time” When we say that someone “died before their time,” we falsely assume that everyone has the unwritten promise of a long life. The Bible makes no such guarantees. The Bible says that our times are in His hands. It also tells us that “there is a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2 NLT). We don’t really get any say regarding the date of our birth or death.
Then again, we have a lot to say about that space in the middle: “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NKJV). To “number our days” means to make the most of our time. The disciples we know did not blow their second chance that God gave them to do what He asked of them. For all of them but John were killed for their faith. We have been given the most wonderful opportunity of a second chance. You and I have been given a second chance – let US not desert Him! Instead let us serve Him! Instead let us love Him!
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.